Richard's 1,400 mile lockdown cycle challenge
published on 16 Jun 2020
A Wiltshire man who has muscular and skeletal rheumatoid arthritis is cycling 1,400 miles during lockdown to raise funds for The Salvation Army’s Gloucester House addictions treatment centre.
55-year-old Richard Young, who is self-isolating is a night support worker at the centre in Highworth decided to cycle the distance from John o’ Groats to Land’s End as well as the Orkneys, the Isle of Wight and Isle of Man using a training bike set up on his patio, live streaming the 42 plus legs of his challenge so that friends and family could chart his progress.
Richard started cycling last year as he recovered from a spinal injury which left him unable to play his favourite sport of bowls.
Now, well and truly on the road to recovery, Richard who is on furlough is racking up the miles with the support of his wife Linda and his son Isaac and daughters Georgia and Isy who encouraged him to take on the challenge.
“My son who loves cycling suggested to me a while ago that we could ride from Land’s End to John O'Groats and so the seed was planted. Just before lockdown I had started cycling once a day for exercise and then I got the letter to say I had to stay in the house and by then lockdown was in place.
“The weather has been an issue – when it’s rainy, I have to put up a parasol to cover my computer gear, when it’s windy I have to weigh everything down and when it’s windy and rainy, I have to set up all my gear in the shed.
“My internet connection has also been a problem at times. I had one ride that was a short one and should have taken about two hours to complete but it took over six hours in the end because of constantly having to stop and start when my connection went down”
Richard has been averaging 30 miles a day but will be finishing his ride with a marathon 55-mile leg on Sunday 21 June. He admits to being nervous about it, but says he is looking forward to spending time with his wife Linda when it’s all over.
“After that I’m going to spend time with my wife because with all the planning and setting up it can take 6 to 10 hours a day 6 days a week for the rides, so she deserves a lot of my time and I will return the favour when I support her at the national bowls finals”